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A. S. Byatt Discusses Language and Her Latest Novel.

British author A.S. Byatt. Byatt is known by many Americans for "Possession," a Booker Prize-winning Victorian novel published here in 1990. Her new novel, "Babel Tower," is just hitting the bookstores (Random House). Set in the turbulent 1960s, the book is about Frederica, a young woman involved in a divorce and custody suit, as well as the prosecution of an "obscene" book. "Babel Tower" is the third book in a planned quartet of novels ("The Virgin in the Garden" and "Still Life") set in different mid-century time frames.


A Linguist Shows Respect for Black English

William Labov teaches at the University of Pennsylvania discusses Ebonics. He's been studying Black English for 30 years and traced the rules governing Black and White English. He also examined the differences between the two and explored the roots of the changes taking place in the languages.


A Married Couple on the Politics of Names

Justin Kaplan and Anne Bernays are the authors of the new book, "The Language of Names: What We Call Ourselves and Why It Matters." Both have written previous books: Ms. Bernays is the author of eight novels, including the award-winning "Growing Up Rich" and "Professor Romeo," as well as numerous short stories. Mr. Kaplan won a Pulitzer Prize for his biography, "Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain." He's also the General Editor of Barlett's Familiar Quotations.


The Art of Subtitling.

Film translator Henri Behar is one of the most sought-after subtitlers in the business. He's subtitled over 100 films, mostly from English to French, but also from French to English. He's subtitled films by Woody Allen, David Mamet, and Spike Lee. Recently he subtitled "Shakespeare in Love," and "Halloween 2." For over 10 years he's also served as moderator at the Cannes Festival press conferences. And he co-wrote the book "Hollywood on the Riviera: The Inside Story of the Cannes Film Festival." (William Morrow, 1992).


The Miss Manners of Grammar.

Senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly, Barbara Wallraff, and author of the magazine’s “Word Count” column. Her new book about language usage is “”Word Count: Wherein verbal virtue is rewarded, crimes against the language are punished, and poetic justice is done” (Harcourt).


The Word Tsar of the New York Times.

Assistant Managing Editor of The New York Times, Allan Siegal. He oversees usage and style at the Times. A revised and expanded edition of his “The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage” (Times Books) has just been published.


Literary Forensics Expert Don Foster.

Literary forensics expert Don Foster. Named the first literary detective of all time, he uncovered the identity of Joe Klein as the Anonymous writer of 1996’s “Primary Colors”. His new book is “Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous” (Henry Holt, Inc.) which details the techniques he uses to identify writers behind anonymous books and documents. He teaches English at Vassar College.


Linguist Geoff Nunberg

Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers obscure legal language and the word 'prurient' used in the landmark 1973 Supreme court ruling on obscenity.

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